Supreme Court has held that depression cannot be considered as unsound mind under section 84 of IPC

The petition was filed by an ex-army officer who was dismissed by the Lucknow bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal in 2018 after attacking his senior officer with stones.

The defense presented before the court was that the officer was depressed since 2006 and had even been taking treatment for the same. The defence of unsoundness of mind which is given as a general exception under section 84 of the Indian Penal Code was contended before the Supreme Court.

The bench of Justices R. Nariman, Navin Sinha and Krishna Murthy had held that depression does not qualify as unsoundness of mind. Section 84 is to be used in those cases when the accused has no sense of right or wrong or any differentiation. The appeal for pension was also dismissed along with the petition to reverse the Armed Forces Tribunal’s order.

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